File photo of England captain Alastair Cook. (Getty Images)
Melbourne: England captain Alastair Cook became the youngest cricketer to reach 8,000 Test runs as the tourists moved serenely to 54 without loss at lunch after dismissing Australia for 204 early on the third day of the fourth Ashes Test on Saturday.
The 29-year-old Cook beat Sachin Tendulkar to the milestone by 21 days and appeared in fine touch as he reached the break on 41, with fellow opener Michael Carberry grafting for five runs on a scorching day at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
The opening stand extended England's lead to 105 and compensated for a poor hour in the field for England as they allowed Australia's Brad Haddin and Nathan Lyon to add a valuable 40 runs for the final wicket.
After resuming on 164 for 9, the pair frustrated the England attack with a number of streaky boundaries before paceman James Anderson struck to remove the Australia wicketkeeper for 65.
The 36-year-old Haddin became the first batsman at seventh or lower in the order to post four first innings half-centuries in a series, and also broke the runs record by a wicketkeeper in an Ashes series.
Enjoying some of the best form of his career, Haddin cracked seven fours and a six before being out flailing at a short ball that soared high in the air, allowing fellow wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow to take a simple catch square of the wicket.
Lyon was 18 not out after slogging three boundaries and providing commendable support to Haddin. Paceman Anderson finished the pick of England's bowlers with 4 for 67. Seamer Stuart Broad took 3 for 45.
After being dismissed for 255 early on day two, England hit back through their seamers, who took six wickets in the final session to leave Australia reeling at Friday's close of play.
Australia hold an unassailable 3-0 lead in the five-Test series. The final match starts in Sydney on January 3.